The March ORD Monthly Webinar Series Features Water Security & Resiliency

DATE:              Tuesday, March 27

TIME:               2:00-3:00PM (eastern)

REGISTER:      Click here

In this webinar, EPA’s Office of Research and Development is exploring two aspects of water security and resilience – improving emergency response through the Water Lab Alliance (WLA) and sampling and analysis tools for water emergencies.

The Water Lab Alliance presentation will provide an overview of WLA, highlighting several of its available tools and resources that systems – including small systems – can use to improve emergency response.

The Sampling and Analysis Tools presentation will describe sampling and analysis tools that EPA provides to water utilities for improving drinking water and wastewater system resilience to disasters and to quickly recover from chem/bio/rad agents.

Please share this invitation with your state’s water systems and those in your program with an interest in security and resilience.


Two New WSD Webinars

EPA’s Water Security Division is hosting two new webinars as part of their Water Quality Surveillance and Response Webinar Series.  See below for details.

  1. Risk of Drinking Water Contamination and Actions to Prepare

DATE:              March 20, 2018

TIME:               1:00-2:00PM (eastern)

REGISTER:      Click here

This webinar focuses on:

  • The risk of drinking water contamination through case studies of real world incidents
  • How readily available data can be used to detect a wide range of water quality problems
  • How response planning can help to effectively manage a water contamination incident

  1. Online Water Quality Monitoring for Source Waters

DATE:    April 10, 2018

TIME:    1:00-2:00PM (eastern)

REGISTER:  Click here

This webinar focuses on:

  • How West Virginia American Water designed an effective source water monitoring system
  • Common design considerations for implementing an online water quality monitoring system
  • How to select monitoring locations and parameters to meet utility unique monitoring goals

Different approaches to information management and data analysis

More WSD Webinars…

Water Contaminant Information Tool (WCIT) Training

DATE:              March 22, 2018 and

April 19, 2018

TIME:               1:00-2:00PM (eastern)-March

                        11:00-Noon (eastern)-April

REGISTER:      Click Here for both events

This training is designed to introduce and refresh users on WCIT (water contaminant information tool), a secure on-line database with comprehensive information about chemical, biological and radiochemical contaminants of concern. The training will include step-by-step instructions for tool functions such as contaminant search, finding and accessing field and confirmatory methods and generating public information reports.

EPA WSD Offers Training Opportunities

Water/Wastewater Boot Camp Training!

EPA just updated the Water/Wastewater All-Hazards Boot Camp computer training. The self-paced training teaches utilities to incorporate emergency management activities into their programs and build resilience to all hazards. The updated release includes the latest tools and resources from EPA and other Water Sector partners.  Click here to start the training!


Analytical Preparedness Full-Scale Exercise (AP-FSE) Toolkit Training

March 29, 2018 at 1:00 PM, eastern  Register Here

This training will cover how participating in a full-scale exercise can increase preparedness, how the toolkit and its resources can be leveraged to plan and conduct an exercise, and how to coordinate analytical support and further develop relationships with response partners.


Sampling Guidance for Unknown Contaminants

April 26, 2018 at 1:00 PM, eastern  Register Here

Participants will learn how to use WLA’s Sampling Guidance for Unknown Contaminants by examining the collection of unknown samples in response to a drinking water contamination incident. Training is intended for drinking water utilities, state and local governments, emergency responders and laboratory personnel.


EPA WSD Shares New Resource

Customer Complaint Surveillance (CCS) Resources:  Guidance and instructional videos for CCS are now available from EPA’s Water Security Division by clicking here.  “Designing Customer Complaint Surveillance for Water Quality Surveillance and Response Systems” provides guidance for designing a system to analyze customer complaints to detect water quality problems (e.g. taste, odor or appearance complaints).  The 48 page document contains several embedded forms, templates, and examples (to view these materials, you must first download the PDF version of document).  The “Instructional Videos on Customer Complaint Surveillance Tools” provide an overview and training on how to use two previously published tools, the Alarm Estimation Tool and the Threshold Analysis Tool.  Both are designed to help utilities analyze drinking water complaint data.  The videos range in viewing time from 5-9 minutes (total viewing time for all six videos is less than 40 min).

UNC-EFC Tackles Financial Resilience

The Environmental Finance Center at the University of North Caroline, Chapel Hill hosts a blog site that looks at water and wastewater needs, issues, concerns, and successes. One of their most recent posts looks at Local Government Financial Resilience and Preparation Before a Natural Disaster.

As the blog post notes, “…municipalities are becoming extremely vulnerable to natural disasters, making it necessary for local governments to become more resilient to catastrophes. Natural disaster resiliency often focuses on the built environment and hazard mitigation, but what about weathering the storm from a financial perspective?”  It goes on to suggest that communities should consider the following steps when evaluating the potential financial impacts of a natural disaster:  identify the probability and type of likely disasters, set a planning timeline, know about available funding sources, and set up a rainy day fund.

The blog post also contains numerous links to resources that can help a community understand and plan financially for a disaster.  One that stands out is Financial Planning for Natural Disasters: A Workbook for Local Governments and Regions.  The Workbook “…is designed to help local governments and regions understand their financial vulnerabilities to natural disasters, evaluate their financial capacity to cover the costs of those disasters, identify strategies to close the gap between financial vulnerability and capacity, and identify and address the spillover effects of neighboring local governments’ financial vulnerabilities to disasters.”

Homeland Security Research Webinar Series

Please join our colleagues from EPA’s Homeland Security Research Center as they host a webinar to discuss how Small and Large Water Systems are Piloting Real-time Data Analytics to Improve Water Quality and Preparedness.

DATE:              March 12, 2018

TIME:               2:00-3:00PM (eastern)

REGISTER:      Here

EPA’s Homeland Security Research Program has developed and pilot deployed real-time analytics hardware and software (RTX:LINK and EPANET-RTX) in both large and small systems (Ohio, Kentucky, Michigan, and Colorado).  The RTX:LINK and EPANET-RTX applications to the City of Flint, Michigan will help with daily operations by monitoring system-wide flows, pressures, and water age in real time.

The RTX:LINK hardware/software tool provides a simple and secure access to key water utility operational data streams, using web-based dashboards for trending and alerting. RTX:LINK helps drinking water utilities more easily access and use their water system SCADA data to provide improved water system operations and management through the power of real-time analytics.  EPANET-RTX software integrates a utility’s SCADA data with their hydraulic network model for real-time prediction of system-wide flows, pressures, and water quality. RTX:LINK has been piloted in the cities of Milford, Ohio and Flint Michigan and is in the process of being deployed at additional small and large systems across the U.S.

This webinar will describe these hardware/software tools and talk about how they are transforming the way hydraulic modeling of drinking water systems is performed and how the tools can be used to improve a water utility’s preparedness and response capabilities.

Do You Know About VSAT Web 1.0?

Last Fall, EPA’s Water Security Division released a web-enabled version of the Water or Wastewater Utility Vulnerability Self-Assessment Tool (VSAT).  The new VSAT model is also more appropriate for smaller systems.  Simply, VSAT Web is a user-friendly tool that can help drinking water and wastewater utilities of all sizes to enhance their security and resiliency.

With VSAT Web, a utility can:

  • Identify the highest risks to mission-critical operations and
  • Find the most cost-effective measures to reduce those risks

Additional Highlights of VSAT Web Include:

  • Designed for mobile devices like tablets and iPads, as well as personal computers
  • Runs on most Internet browsers.
  • No VSAT Web user data is stored by or visible to EPA
  • Complies with risk assessment standards, and
  • Offers liability protection under the Department of Homeland Security’s Support Anti-Terrorism by Fostering Effective Technologies (SAFETY) Act program.

Click Open VSAT Web 1.0 to view the document.  ASDWA encourages you to share this information with your water systems to make sure they have access to the most recent risk assessment tools!


EPA WSD Offers Webinars, Workshops, and Requests for Input

Below are some upcoming resilience opportunities available to state drinking water programs as well as water and wastewater utilities. Please share these opportunities.

Webinars and Workshop 

Water Contaminant Information Tool (WCIT) Training

February 22, 2018 at 11:00 AM ET


This training is designed to introduce and refresh users on WCIT, a secure on-line database with comprehensive information about chemical, biological and radiochemical contaminants of concern. The training will include step-by-step instructions for tool functions such as contaminant search, finding and accessing field and confirmatory methods and generating public information reports:

Continuity of Operations Plan (COOP) Template Training

February 28, 2018 at 1:00 PM ET

It is imperative that laboratories be able to continue their essential functions when incidents occur that disrupt normal operations. This webinar is designed as an introduction to the WLA COOP template, providing a basic overview of the COOP template contents and a demonstration on how to use the template’s fillable form:


Nevada Water and Emergency Services Sectors Coordination Workshop

March 13, 2018

Las Vegas, Nevada

The U.S. EPA Water Security Division and the Las Vegas Valley Water District will be hosting a Water and Emergency Services Sectors Coordination workshop on March 13, 2018. The free one-day workshop will include presentations from drinking water and wastewater utilities, as well as local, state and federal emergency response and law enforcement agencies.  It will also include a tabletop exercise involving a possible intentional water contamination incident that impacts water and wastewater services, law enforcement, local emergency management, public health, and local hospitals. The workshop aims to increase coordination and communication between water utilities, emergency management, and law enforcement.  It will also provide law enforcement personnel with a better understanding of water system infrastructure and operations.

The target audience is:

  • Drinking water and wastewater utilities
  • Local, state, and federal law enforcement departments and agencies
  • Local, state, and federal emergency management agencies

To register, please visit:


Requesting Partners Input

Water and Healthcare/Public Health Workshop.  The U.S. EPA Water Security Division plans to conduct a workshop in the western U.S. and is seeking interested stakeholders in the area.  The one-day workshop will comprise presentations discussing cross-sector communication between the local area water utility and healthcare/public health entities.  A water loss scenario in the afternoon provides the opportunity to discuss improvement to existing communication protocols between the water and health sectors. For more information, please contact Chrissy Dangel, 513-569-7821).

Water Sector Power Resilience Summit – To be held in September 2018

EPA plans to partner with water associations, state agencies, water utilities, energy providers, energy associations and other key partners to host a two-day Water Sector Power Resilience Summit.  The objective of the summit is to discuss and advance the water sector’s preparedness for a long-duration, widespread power outage.  We are still in the early planning stages, but plan to host an event for 150-250 people in the DC-area in September 2018.  We are looking for volunteers to participate in a summit planning team that will help to develop the summit agenda, identify potential speakers, and share information about the summit to water sector stakeholders.  We anticipate that volunteers would participate in approximately six one-hour teleconferences between January and September 2018 and spend several hours reviewing documents or completing action items from the teleconferences during that eight-month time period.  For more information, please contact Lauren Wisniewski 202-564-2918.



Upcoming Decon R&D Conference

EPA is hosting the 2017 International Decontamination Research and Development Conference (May 8-10, 2018 at the US EPA Campus in Research Triangle Park, NC).  While the larger Conference focuses on R&D for a range of chemical, biological, and radiological contamination incidents; this year, there will be a particular emphasis on the Decontamination Preparedness and Assessment Strategy (DPAS) and its Preparedness Checklist.

During the Conference, participants will be able to start the planning process and to identify what they need to do when they return home. Each attendee could complete the Preparedness Checklist and other worksheets using a real-world system that they have knowledge of as either an operator, TA provider or consultant. An example utility will also be described that can be used to review the strategy.

For more information about the Conference, please review the proceedings from the 2016 event at this link 2016 DECON CONFERENCE REPORT

If you are interested in participating in this Conference, please contact Marissa Lynch at EPA’s Water Security Division.